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15 Dec 2000 : Column: 284W
result of gas explosions; and how many of such deaths would have been prevented had excess flow valves been fitted to dwellings. 
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Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 for the three years up to 31 March 2000:
Further analysis of the causation of the incidents would be required before it could be determined precisely how many of these deaths would have been prevented had excess flow valves been fitted. In the judgment of the Health and Safety Executive the majority of the incidents, including those arising from gas escapes from mains and user error in failing to light an appliance after turning it on, would not have been prevented by the presence of an excess flow valve.
However, the Executive will consider further the safety case for the use of such devices in the context of developing the safety-related research strategy proposed in the Health and Safety Commission's recently published Gas Safety Review report.
Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is the timetable for phasing out railway carriages that allow excrement from toilets to be discharged on to the line. 
Mr. Hill: Although there is no specific timetable for this, the introduction of new rolling stock currently on order and as part of the franchise replacement process will lead to a progressive reduction in train toilets that discharge on to the track. There is a specific requirement for all Mark I rolling stock to be replaced by 1 January 2005.
Ms Beverley Hughes: My Department does not keep a central record of planning applications. It is the responsibility of individual local planning authorities to consider planning applications for these and all other categories of development, and they will keep their own records.
Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the regional chambers set up in England, indicating if they are (a) statutorily required to publish annual reports, (b) statutorily required to publish annual accounts, (c) subject to the jurisdiction of the parliamentary or local government ombudsman, (d) subject to audit by the National Audit Office, (e) subject to audit by the Audit Commission, (f) statutorily required to admit the public to committee meetings, (g) statutorily required to hold public meetings, (h) statutorily required to publish the agendas
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of meetings, (i) statutorily required to publish the minutes of meetings, (j) statutorily required to publish the papers or documents for meetings, (k) statutorily required to keep and make publicly available a register of members' interests and (l) statutorily required to consult and report to local authorities in their areas on their plans and policies. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: The eight regional chambers are: the North East Regional Assembly, the North West Regional Assembly, the Regional Chamber for Yorkshire and Humberside, the West Midlands Regional Chamber, the East Midlands Regional Assembly, the East of England Regional Assembly, the South East of England Regional Assembly and the South West of England Regional Assembly. Each chamber has been established voluntarily by bodies representing the interests of the relevant region, and there are no statutory obligations upon them under any of the matters listed at (a) to (l).
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many of the recommendations made in the seventh report of the Committee on Environment, Transport and the Regions, Session 1999-2000, his Department has implemented; and how many it plans to implement in the future. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 12 December 2000]: The seventh report of the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee made 41 recommendations, mainly concerning what should be in the Rural White Paper. The Government's formal response to the Committee's report is set out in Cm 4910 and refers to the White Paper "Our countryside: the future, A fair deal for rural England", published at the same time. We have accepted 36 of the Committee's recommendations and are giving further consideration to one other recommendation.
Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has received from the Radioactive Waste Management Committee about the management of fast reactor fuels held by the UKAEA at Dounreay; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 12 December 2000]: The management by UKAEA of prototype fast reactor (PFR) fuels at Dounreay is a matter for the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. The Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee submitted a response to the Department of Trade and Industry public consultation exercise "Making the Right Choice" about the management of PFR fuels at Dounreay on 7 June 2000. A further representation to clarify the key issues was made on 7 August 2000. The text of both submissions is published in full in the RWMAC's Twentieth Annual Report, the text of which was submitted to the Environment, Transport and the Regions Ministers on 6 November 2000 and published on 30 November 2000. Copies are available in the House Library.
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Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is the SSA for each London borough for the next financial year on provision of respite care facilities. 
Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 14 December 2000]: There is no separately identifiable SSA element for respite care facilities; rather the provision is made through the four Personal Social Services SSA sub-blocks. As Revenue Support Grant is unhypothecated, it is up to each local authority to decide how much to spend on this, as any other, service.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what measures were taken by the Environment Agency to consult local people about the application by BNFL at Bradwell Power Station for the use of incinerators to burn low level nuclear waste. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 14 December 2000]: The application by BNFL for the use of incinerators at Bradwell Power Station to burn low level waste was one of four applications made by BNFL to the Environment Agency in January 1998 for the disposal of radioactive waste at Bradwell. A public consultation was held on these applications, beginning on 26 May this year and formally ending on 31 August.
The Environment Agency consulted widely, including members of the public, national and local public bodies, interested groups and organisations, and the Bradwell Local Community Liaison Council. Copies of the consultation documents were supplied to local authority public registers, local libraries within Essex and main libraries in Suffolk and Kent. Information about the consultation was made available on the Agency's internet site. The start of the three-month consultation period and the availability of the consultation package were advertised in the national and local press, and the Agency issued a press notice.
The Agency also arranged public meetings and "surgeries" in the neighbourhood of the power station, which provided an opportunity for face-to-face discussions between individual members of the public and Agency staff. On 22 November 2000 the Agency received a request from West Mersea Town Council/Colchester Borough Council for a further public meeting to discuss BNFL's applications for Bradwell. The Agency has now agreed to hold a public meeting and surgeries in the vicinity of West Mersea as soon as arrangements can be made.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what forecasts his Department has made of the extent of (a) damage only road accidents, (b) injury road accident, (c) motorist
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fatalities, (d) pedestrian casualties and (e) pedestrian fatalities arising from increases in road traffic since October. 
Mr. Hill: No estimates are yet available of the levels of injury road accidents and resultant casualties since October of this year. Statistics relating to damage-only road accidents are not collected by this Department.
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